December 24, 2018 09:48
President Moon Jae-in will probably not keep his promise to move the presidential office out of Cheong Wa Dae, according to a presidential official on Friday.
"It has been decided that it's impossible to move the presidential office to Gwanghwamun for security and cost reasons," the official said.
The move out of the splendid isolation of the presidential palace was intended as a symbolic manifestation of a more accessible, transparent presidency.
But the main obstacle was the astronomical cost.
"More than W10 billion would be needed just to build a new computer network alone," a government official said (US$1=W1,124). "Massive construction will also be required to build facilities for security officials."
In February, Cheong Wa Dae appointed Yoo Hong-jun, the former chief of the Cultural Heritage Administration, as presidential adviser in charge of moving the office to Gwanghwamun. But almost no discussions have taken place since his appointment.
"Yoo may brief reporters on why the plan has been canceled," the official added.
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